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Today’s topic are Twinkies, a classic treat that rumors date back to 1869. It’s said that the only thing that can survive a nuclear blast are Twinkies and cockroaches. Can Twinkies however survive the question; are Twinkies vegan?
Twinkies are not vegan. They contain tallow which is made from beef or mutton fat, egg, whey (protein derived from animals) and artificial colors. Yellow 5 and Red 40 are still beeing tested on animals and this does not align with veganism. Questionable ingredients such as polysorbate 60, soybean Oil, enzymes and monocalcium phosphate can also be found in Twinkies.
Below you will find different flavors of Twinkies and it’s vegan status.
|Twinkies Classic||No, it contains Tallow, Whey, Egg, Yellow 5, Red 40.|
|Twinkies Mixed Berry||No, it contains Tallow, Whey, Egg, Blue 2, Yellow 5.|
|Twinkies Lemonade Stand||No, it contains Tallow, Whey, Egg, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5, Red 40.|
|Twinkies Red White Blue||No, it contains Tallow, Whey, Egg, Blue 2 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 5, Red 40.|
|Twinkies Chocolate Cake||No, it contains Tallow, Whey, Egg, Yellow 5, Red 40.|
If you keeping then you will find all the ingredients analyzed as well as vegan alternatives to Twinkies.
Twinkies Ingredients [Analyzed]
Let’s take a look at the ingredients.
The ingredients below can be found in Twinkies Classic.
- Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate Or Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Soybean Oil
- Corn Starch
- Modified Cornstarch
- Hydrogenated Tallow
- Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate
- Baking Soda
- Sorbic Acid
- Potassium Sorbate
- Cottonseed Oil
- Mono & Diglycerides
- Cellulose Gum
- Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
- Soy Lecithin
- Xanthan Gum
- Polysorbate 60
- Monocalcium Phosphate
- Natural And Artificial Flavor
- Artificial Colors (Yellow 5, Red 40)
As you can see there a lot of non-vegan and questionable ingredients in Twinkies.
I did some research and this is what I found about them.
These Non-Vegan Ingredients Can Be Found In Twinkies
Tallow is said to be made from beef and mutton fat, but it can also be made from lard that comes from pigs.
It can also be made from plants, but it’s not very common.
This ingredient is not vegan.
Egg come from hens and is not vegan since it comes from an animal.
Chickens are often raised in small areas where it’s considered animal cruelty.
Whey is a protein that is a byproduct in the production process of cheese and casein.
The dairy industry is something that we vegans always stay away from since all the product are derived from animals.
Cows are inseminated and when the calf is born it’s taken away from it’s mother and milk instead goes to the market for us humans to consume.
There are videos showing cows that cries after their newborns and it’s heartbreaking.
The last non-vegan ingredient is artificial colors.
There are numerous negative health aspects of consuming artificial colors, but the reason it’s not vegan is the fact that animal testing is till beeing done.
Even tho there are other ways to perform tests that does not include animals, they still use outdated method of using animals in tests.
This must be adressed and that is why this is ingredient is not vegan.
Questionable Ingredients In Twinkies That Could Be Non-Vegan
The first questionable ingredient today is sugar and dextrose.
Why could this potentially not be vegan?
Well sugar does not have anything derived from animals, but there is a bleaching process that might use bonechar from dead cows.
The common sugar that uses this process is refined cane sugar and happen so be it’s also the most commonly used sugar in the candy industry.
High Fructose Corn Syrup & Corn Starch
Corn is a common GMO crop and that is why I put it under questionable ingredients.
No health issue have been proven when consuming GMO crops and nothing derived from animals can be found.
However the negative environmental impact that comes with GMO crops can be significant.
Ecosystems are effected and animals/insects are often killed in the process.
Soybean Oil & Soy Lecithin
This is the second crop that might be GMO in Twinkies.
The difference with soy is that it’s much more devastating to the environment.
The amount pesticide used in soy GMO crops is much higher than corn, because it’s more resistent.
You can read more here.
Enzymes can be made from both plants and animals.
It’s impossible to know which one is used.
Therefore this ingredient is questionable.
Mono & Diglycerides
The same goes from mono & diglycerides, it can be made from both animals and plants.
Since it’s difficult to know what source this ingredient is made from, vegan should stay away from it.
The only way to find out is to contact the company and ask, or if they disclose it on the website.
Polysorbate 60 might be vegan and it might not be.
Stearic acid found in polysorbate can be made from animals, thus making it not vegan.
Impossible to know when reading the ingredients so I placed this ingredient in this section.
Natural And Artificial Flavor
The last questionable ingredient of the day is natural and artificial flavors.
This is an umbrella term and can contain ingredients derived from animals.
If a product has a vegan label then this ingredient should not contain anything from animals, but Twinkies does not have a vegan label.
One ingredient that can be hidden here is a flavor derived from the anal gland of a beaver. This is approved by the FDA.
You can read more on National Geographic.
Vegan Alternative To Twinkies
I did not find a vegan alternative to Twinkies product, but I did find a great recipe for vegan Twinkies.
You can find it here.
Are Twinkies Vegetarians?
Twinkies are not vegetarian. Twinkies Classic, Lemonade Stand, Mixed Berry, Red White Blue and Chocolate Cake all contain tallow. It’s made from beef, mutton fat and sometimes lard from pigs.
Are Twinkies Gluten-Free?
Twinkies are not gluten-free. All flavors contain wheat.
I think we can all agree on that Twinkies did not survive the question.
The analyzed ingredients section confirms that Twinkies are not vegan.
I hope I provided enough information to explain why an ingredient might not be vegan, even tho it doesn’t contain anything derived from animals.
Vegan avoid products and ingredients, when animal cruelty is involved.
Examples of this could be animal testing or the destruction of habitats.
I hope you enjoyed the article.